New Delhi: With Delhi categorised as the most polluted city by a UN body, city government today embarked on an ambitious programme to clean its air and water which includes 100 per cent treatment of sewage and industrial effluents, that contaminate Yamuna river, within three years.

Removal of encroachments on the river floodplain are also part of long term measures to check water pollution.

The High Powered Committee (HPC) constituted to examine measures to check air and water pollution also suggested optimum utilisation of treated wastewater from STPs and CETPs, prevention of dumping of solid waste in drains,rationalisation of charges to incentives sewer connections, making land available for treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and demolition waste and notification of sanitation bye-laws as short term measures.

It emphasised upon providing strict punishment for littering and other offences, popularising water efficient fixtures, popularising rain water harvesting and ground water recharging.

The Committee was set up in the wake of Delhi being described the most polluted city in a study report of World Health Organisation (WHO) few months back.

Delhi government will also initiate a public awareness campaign to sensitise people and ensure public participation in these measures.

The short term measures to help reduce air pollution include effective implementation and tightening of Pollution Under Control (PUC) norms for all vehicles, regulating the entry and exit of non-destined vehicles in Delhi and adoption of a rationalised parking policy with clearly marked out ‘No Tolerance Zones’ etc.

The Committee also suggested introduction of EURO-V norms for vehicles to be registered in Delhi, promotion of non polluting battery operated vehicles and use of Metro and public transport such as buses etc to help reduce traffic along with prohibition of illegal burning of garbage and horticultural waste.

These recommendations were submitted by the Committee, headed by the Chief Secretary of Delhi, to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today.

While adopting the recommendations, the Lt Governor said that “this needs to be taken up on a mission mode by all agencies of the government” as he directed all concerned to submit a segregated department wise work plan for time bound implementation of the recommendations within the next three weeks.

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Free Press Journal